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Christmas eve

May 10, 2015



  • 1.Christmas Eve is acelebrations, which is heldon 24th December. It isone of the oldestLithuanian festivalscelebrated according thesolar calendar. This solartransition point is calledsolstice. Nowadays on thisday it is usual that thewhole family gathers andhas dinner together.

2. It is usual to make 12 or 13 meals for the Christmas Eve dinner.This is probably symbolizing 13 or 13 months of the yearcalculated according the Moon. Kioms nuo seno gamindavo 12ar 13 patiekal. Tai turbt simbolizavo 13-os ar 12-os mnesimetus, skaiiuojamus pagal Mnul. When the years started tocount according the Sun, then it was usual to have 12 meals onthe table at the dinner. In any case not all follow this traditionnowadays. 3. Kia is made of ceeals (wheat, barley, peas, beans, rye,ect...), mixed with mieimas (water with honey). Kia wasused to entertain the elders sirits. The fist bite and sips weresacrificed to the spirits and harvest deities. Kia was also givento bees and animals, believing that a better livestock will be forthe next year. 4. Oat-juice jelly was sacrificed to the gods and naturalelements, it was also served for the spirits. Making the oat-juicejelly, magic and tricks were used too. 5. Oat Balls made of steamed and ground oat flour dough.Later they were replaced by flats and balls (liikai orkiukai). Round wholemeals and others symbolized thecoming back sun. 6. Beetroot soup with meat and mushrooms. 7. Meat was usual on the Christmas Eve table, but lateraffected by Catholic religion it eventually disappeared from list of12-13 meals. 8. Fish replaced the meat. The biggest attention was given topike as according to folklore, it was a symbol of fertility. 9. Grucs mash a barley mash which was eaten with thepoppy seed milk. It is agrarian and family holidays traditionalritual meal. Poppy, hemp and cranberry symbolized the fertilityand profusion of crops. 10. Christmas Eve was a big celebration at the ritual table, accompanied byrituals, magic and sacrifices. People were trying to complete all the workbefore Christmas Eve. It a was forbidden to grind, thresh and do other worksas the noise could cause clouds with hail for the upcoming summer. Peoplewere not patching fur and other clothes as lambs and other animals couldborn mottled. Women were not spinning as the sheep could got dizziness andwere not making slips of wood as it was believed that animals could hurtclaws.. 11. Ready for the celebration, people were having a wash according the rites.Firstly, housewives or girls were washing men undressed to the waist, thenwomen were having a wash. Later hot tubs and saunas appeared. The need towash was interpreted variously: washing the sins of the year and then cleanwaiting for the other; Clean body pure soul; The one who will have awash will be the first who finishes the ground work. At the beginning of thiscentury on the Christmas Eve men after the sauna used to dress up in whitelinen shirt and women their best clothes, and used to say: Throughout theyear will be clean. 12. The beginning of the Christmas Eve dinner was when the evening star arose.Some hay was laid on and under the table. Tablecloth was laid on the hay andmeals set on the table. It was usual to put some candles, sometimes sheaf ofrye, and put a stone under the pot. Invited the closest mercenaries and lonelyneighbors. Before eating all stood up. The oldest was praying aloud after whateverybody wished to each other health and happiness. Firstly ate Kia.Some food was dedicated and sacrificed to spirits and gods. On Christmas Evealso stoke a fire, burnt straws or chump. 13. At the table were acting like in a church: quietly, calmly, respectfully andif during the last year there was no major disaster, had fun. The first who weretalking, were father and mother. They remembered the dead. Rememberedthose who were in exile, military or emigrated and could not be together at theChristmas Eve table. Father or grandfather told stories about the birth of babyJesus, upcoming festivals, their meaning, sometimes about the first humans.All the thing in the family were remembered since the last Christmas. 14. With the hope were talking about the upcoming year. Stories about the youthwere favorite by grandfathers. At the table it was discussed, who will go tochurch and who will stay and look after the animals, prepare the Christmasmeals. While older was talking, children remained silent. They usuallystarted only after the sweets or when parents asked anything. 15. Hay is the most important part during the Christmas Eve. It was laid under thetable, tablecloth or on the dirt floor. It probably was associated with peoplesbelief that the souls of the dead rest on the straw. It was also used for thefortune telling. Widely known custom during or after the eating to pull hayfrom the tablecloth. The longer stipe you pull put, the better and longer yourlife will be. The housekeeper looked for the cereal under the hay and plantedthat kind which found more, hoping for the better harvest. It was also usual topull straw from the roof and if it was a stipe with ear, wealthy harvest washoping to be. The trees were wrapped in hay believing that this will makethem produce more fruits and bloom better 16. Lots of attention deserves Christmas Eve spells. Starry sky, piles of stars ina sky meant fertile year, layer chickens and a lot of mushrooms. Strong windmean a lot of nuts and wild apples. Lots of rain nice barley harvest. Treestried to wrap in hay as it was believed that it help to get better harvest inautumn. At this evening fed the animals better . 17. Widely known marriage spells: expect for the matchmakers from the side where dogs bark; how many wood can take in one go even number means the girl will wed. measuring the fence with the bag a girl spoke: bread will have from the bag, bread will have from the garner. If the measure had the last word bread will have from the garner, then expected marry a rich men. Three girls hid a rue, a ring and a rosary under the pot. The one who found a rue meant she will stay unmarried for one more year, a ring will marry, a rosary will be churchy this ear. 18. People believed, that animals speak at Christmas Eve night.They foretold the future and especially the term of living. Usuallywas believed speak horses. At Christmas Eve evening people fedanimas better. Forage was brought at the evening as it wasbelieved that spirits work in barn and may hurt with forks ifdisturb them. Hay from the table was allowed to give only cowsand sheep, it was forbidden to give to horse. If anyoneintentionally listened to animals he died. 19. It was believed that the water in the wells at the midnight ofthe Christmas Eve for one second turns into wine and a man whotastes this water becomes smarter and can even understand whatanimals say. However, to drink this water intentionally or waitfor this miracle was forbiden as it treatened with death. 20. It is hard to say how old is the divination with the mirror,which should show the husband of the one who isdivining. For example, a girl or a young men wanting toknow who will be their husband or wife, should taketwo candles, a towel, mirror, go to a lonely house, lit thecandles and put the mirror. Wipe the dew from themirror with a towel and will see husband or wife.Another magic rite is: a girl burns her hair and says thename of a men, if that men lives close to her, he willcome on the same night, if far away the next morning.When he comes, he asks who called him. 21. On the Christmas Eve, after the sunset, the air is full of evil spirits, then the witches are especially powerful. Those who wanted to ward off the evil spirits had to have scones. With the same aim they had to decorate their house corners with crosses. On Christmas Eve nobody was visiting the neighbors, the ones who came were considered to be witches, as it was believed that spirits are wandering this evening. 22. Pran Dundulien Lietuvi vents:tradicijos,paproiai, 23. Thank You forYour Attention! Viktorija Klastaityt 8d2011 metai